‘It is to make country by country assume leadership and assume this ambition that is necessary…’
(Ben Sellers, Liberty Headlines) Senior White House officials said President Donald Trump has no plans to attend the United Nations‘s Climate Action Summit being put on by Secretary–General António Guterres next month.
Instead, they said, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler will represent the U.S. at the Sept. 23 event, which mark’s the opening of a new session for the global body’s General Assembly.
An EPA spokesman said that Wheeler plans “to highlight America’s environmental progress” while attending the summit, McClatchy reported.
However, the sources who spoke to McClatchy said that official word on who will attend remained up in the air should the president exercise his prerogative to change plans.
“The United States is considering the nature of our participation at the UN Secretary General’s Climate Summit,” said one State Department official.
The news outlet said it remained to be seen whether UN Ambassador Kelly Craft, who replaced Nikki Haley in February, will attend.
Democrats attacked Craft during her confirmation hearing over her husband’s links to the coal industry, forcing a promise from her to recuse herself from her on any UN discussions on climate change or coal.
Wheeler also worked as a pro-energy lobbyist representing the coal industry prior to his EPA appointment.
Both have aligned themselves with Trump in expressing skepticism over some of the scientific claims regarding global warming, though Craft has said she agreed that man-made emissions play a part in climate change.
Even so, many dispute the scope and urgency of the so-called crisis, with even former Vice President Al Gore, a strident green activist, acknowledging that previous UN reports had “torqued up” the alarmism.
Other skeptics question the cost—benefit breakdown of solutions as members of the far left pitch extreme proposals like the Green New Deal that would fundamentally alter the American economy and lifestyle.
Globally speaking, one of Trump’s first acts was to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord.
The Obama-era agreement imposed sharp restrictions and penalties on carbon-dioxide emissions, even though some of the world’s largest greenhouse-gas producers either were not a part of the pledge or were not complying in good faith with it.
Critics called it a glorified wealth-redistribution effort to shift money to poorer, non-industrialized countries.
Despite the withdrawal from the agreement, Trump officials said the U.S. will outline the progress it has made toward reducing CO2 emissions, including the encouragement of private-sector innovations for carbon capture and storage.
Last month, Guterres asked participating countries to submit by early August “concrete, realistic plans” for lowering emissions prior to the renewal date of the Paris accord next year.
“It’s not to convene a conference to come to a consensus on a document,” Guterres told Time magazine as part of a June cover story hyping global warming. “It is to make country by country assume leadership and assume this ambition that is necessary,” he said.